Is Your Tribe on Pinterest – Probably

By Bo Johnson / July 24, 2018
How-To-Find-Your-Tribe-on-Pinterest

How-To-Find-Your-Tribe-on-Pinterest

Is YOUR Tribe on Pinterest?  Is Pinterest even the right platform for your brand? Well, the answer is YES!  I’ll show you why.

You already know that social media marketing is a fact of life for successful businesses today. Customers and clients are using these online platforms to share their lives, catch up with friends and family, network for their business and more.

It’s important to have a company presence online, but keeping up with every networking site out there would be impossible.

There’s lot of buzz going around lately about how good Pinterest can be for business and for good reason, but how do you know if it’s worth the investment for your business?

[bctt tweet=”Pinterest is a Search Engine – and an extremely powerful and valuable one for your business.” ” username=”DIYBizChicks”]

Check out the information below for some insights as to whether Pinterest might be the right platform for your brand.

Research Your Audience

Some demographic research is necessary to find out where your clientele falls into the demographic of the Pinterest user. Research the latest information regarding who’s using Pinterest to get a feel of where your tribe on Pinterest is hanging out.

The vast majority of this platform’s users have always been female, with a median age of around 40, but this is changing, as more men are starting to use Pinterest’s search engine capabilities.   Thus, it makes sense to consider spending some time to find out exactly where the people you are trying to reach are at.  Spend some time in the trenches reviewing Pinterest demographics for further insights.

Decide How To Use Your Brand For Visual Content

The fact of the matter is that Pinterest is a search engine in which users pin the blog posts, articles and products that interest them and that they want others to find. People go to Pinterest to FIND (search for) SOMETHING !  All of these pins are graphically represented. Pins must be visually appealing if they’re to stand out among the crowd and get pinned. Therefore, it  makes sense to spend a lot of time and effort here if your business is one that can be represented well through graphics.

It is possible to create graphics that are related to your product or service even if you don’t have a large variety of photo-worthy content. People love quotes, and you could always produce lovely images to go with your posts if you have a blog.  Make sure they fall within the proper Pinterest sizes, which is always changing.  Currently, the square pin preference is 600X600 and the long pin image size is 600X900.

Creativity is necessary when it comes to using Pinterest, but not difficult – just use Canva, or PicMonkey, or a number of other image sites.  You can even do it in free sites like Paint.net if you’re on a budget.   Just make sure to generate pin-worthy content on a regular basis.

Evaluate Your Resources

You do need to take inventory of your resources in order to make an informed assessment of whether a Pinterest marketing effort is a sound plan for your business.  Do you have the time yourself, or the ability to outsource to handle your business profile?

This means everything from deciding which things to pin, actually pinning them or scheduling pins into an automated program like Tailwind – which I LOVE, monitoring any comments and maintaining boards. This also includes your pin creation; which you can do yourself or outsource to a graphic designer to create stunning images for your boards. Thus, your budget will also be a factor into whether you want to take on a Pinterest campaign as part of your digital marketing plan.

Pinterest can be an incredibly successful platform for use with online marketing – since I’ve started using it sparingly a couple of months ago, I’ve seen good results.   As with the rest of your social media, you simply need to be strategic about its use.

If you have the time and image-heavy content material, your business can do very well utilizing Pinterest.

If you want some easy templates for Canva, complete with instructions – look no further than this Canva Tutorial by Stacey Myers.  It’s really reasonable, and will save you loads of time if you need reports or checklists.  Full disclosure, that’s my affiliate link to the tutorial, which I think you’ll find super useful.

I’d love to know if one of your pins goes viral!

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58 Instagram Tricks and Hacks You Might Not Know

By Bo Johnson / July 17, 2018
58 Instagram Tricks and Hacks You Might Not Know. Learn some interesting tips to increase your reach. https://diybizchicks.com

58 Instagram Tricks and Hacks You Might Not Know. Learn some interesting tips to increase your reach. https://diybizchicks.com

I have to admit, I’m certainly no Instagram pro, but love it that I found a great article all about Instagram hacks and tips over at Hootsuite.

They’ve detailed 58 tips and tricks  – some that you’ll want to start using today.

This Instagram hacks post, by Kendall Walters and Michael Aynsley even has a table of contents, which includes:

    • general Instagram hacks
    • Instagram hacks for photo and video sharing
    • Instagram story hacks
    • Instagram bio and profile hacks
    • Instagram hashtag hacks

There are clear instructions to follow for each itemized tip.

Here’s one of my favorites:

 Pin your Instagram post to Pinterest

Pinterest isn’t listed as one of the network choices when sharing a post from Instagram, but there are workarounds for both Instagram mobile and desktop.

How to do it on mobile:

  1. Go to the post you’d like to Pin
  2. Tap the three dots icon located above your post to the right
  3. Select Copy Share URL to copy the post link to your clipboard
  4. Open the Pinterest app on your mobile device
  5. Tap on your profile image icon to visit your profile
  6. Tap the plus sign icon at the top right of the screen to add a new Pin
  7. An “Add a board or Pin” menu will appear, select Copied link
  8. Pinterest will automatically open the link saved to your clipboard
  9. Choose the image you’d like to Pin and finish posting as usual

How to do it on desktop:

  1. Visit Instagram.com and find the post you’d like to Pin
  2. Right click on the post and select Open Link in New Window
  3. Use the Pinterest browser button to choose the image you’d like to Pin and finish posting as usual

There’s a whole section related to hashtags – how to find the best and most relevant ones, how to follow them, how to save them and even how to hide them.

If you’re at all interested in building an Instagram following, and who isn’t, this is an article that you’ll want to get yourself comfortable and read.  Don’t forget to implement as you go.

It IS a long read, but so worth it to help you get your Instagram pro hat on.

Click the link  HERE  to read the whole story over at Hootsuite.

And if Facebook is your game, check out FACEBOOK SUCCESS SECRETS – get your posts noticed and shared – and much more.

Create A Blog – A Beginners Blogging Guide

create-a-blog-a-beginners-blogging-guide

create-a-blog-a-beginners-blogging-guideSo, you’re ready to create a blog, but there’s SO many things to think of that you don’t even know where to start.  It’s okay, really.  We’ve all been there.  I’ve got you covered on this one, so let’s get started.  Oh, and before we go any further, assume that if a product I mention has an affiliate program, I’m on it.  That’s what helps pay for this site.

I’ll break down the tasks in the order that they should be tackled, so you can just relax and follow the steps.

Best Site To Create A Blog:

This should be your first, and probably one of your biggest decisions that you’ll make right at the start.  There are so many blogging platforms out there, some free, some not – how do you ever choose?

If you’re just going to create a blog for personal reasons, and aren’t interested in monetizing it down the road, go ahead and choose a free platform like wordpress.com (a hosted web service) or Weebly.  There are others as well, like Wix, WordPress.com, Squarespace (not free, but still a hosted service), Blogspot – all have their own rules.  For instance, Wix (on the free plan) shows advertisements on your site.  You won’t have control over your asset (your blog) and there are rules about advertising and what you can and cannot do, but since it’s just for personal enjoyment it won’t matter.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to real business.  If you want your blog to make some money at some point and you want control over what you put on it, then you really have to own it, and that means PAYING FOR IT.  So just to confuse you further, WordPress.org is actually a free, open-source platform, but you still have to pay for hosting it somewhere.  We’ll get to that later.

If you are having trouble deciding between  WordPress.org or Squarespace, head over to Style Factory Productions; there’s a very detailed article comparing both.

My preference has always been WordPress.org – self-hosted, open-source, scalable, hands down the best platform for serious bloggers and online businesses.  I did a little searching around for some statistics on WordPress, and I found that:

WordPress runs 28.9% of the entire internet.

There’s a great post over at Codeinwp detailing everything WordPress, if you’re needing more stats and convincing.  It’s also where I got the one above.

Okay, so now that’s decided.  Congratulations!  Time to get to some fun stuff.

Start Your Blog:

Picking a good name for your blog (that isn’t already taken) is pretty exciting.  Again, there are lots of sites out there to buy domains, but my favorite is NameCheap.  They are straight forward and not forever trying to upsell you; they are also cheap.

Next up is a hosting provider.  I’m going to assume you took my advice and decided to use WordPress.org as your blogging platform.  (If not and you went with a hosted blogging platform, you can skip this section on hosting/installing/themes).

There are lots of hosting providers out there, but one of my favorites is SiteGround.  They’re fast and have great customer support.  Enough said.

Once you have your domain name and your hosting provider, point your domain name’s DNS to your host.  That done, you can install WordPress through your cpanel in SiteGround.  You will receive your login info to go to your WordPress dashboard.  KEEP IT SAFE.  When logged into the dashboard, this is where you will choose a theme, either a free one, or find a paid one to upload.

beginning bloggers checklistDOWNLOAD A FREE STEP BY STEP CHECKLIST TO CREATE YOUR BLOG FAST

I love using the Genesis framework with a child theme for my sites. Genesis and their child themes are paid themes, but are SEO friendly, are cleanly coded and work well.  ANY theme you choose, make sure you add a child theme so when the parent theme updates, you won’t lose any custom colors or styling you have done, because that’s where you’ll make any changes to the theme.  Also note that most, if not all themes won’t look like their preview does when they are first opened.  You will have to tweak them yourself, or have a designer customize it for you.

USEFUL PLUGINS:

Here’s a list of some of the most useful plugins I’ve found:

  • Akismet – to catch spam comments.
  • Yoast SEO – very useful to help with post SEO and to integrate social media.
  • Ninja Forms – great for your contact page form, highly customizable for lots of other forms.
  • Click to tweet – allows readers to click a section of your post to tweet.
  • Pretty Link lite – super useful to do 301 redirects if you change location of a post, and to customize affiliate links.
  • Social Warfare or Shareaholic – for share and follows on social media – a must have on all your posts, of course.
  • Updraft Plus – best I’ve found for a site backup.  You can backup to Dropbox, email, Amazon and a bunch others.  Paid, but worth it if when your site goes down and you need to restore it.
  • Sucuri – a great security plugin to limit login attempts and lots more.
  • Google Analytics – great to be able to see your traffic at a glance from your dashboard.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but do remember that using too many plugins will affect how fast/slow your site loads. Depending on your niche and theme, you may require image sliders, appointment calendars, etc.  However may you have, keep them to what you really need, and KEEP THEM UPDATED!

SET UP YOUR NEW BLOG:

There are a number of tasks you need to check off your list now – before you start posting content.

  • Branding – decide on your brand colors and fonts now – much easier.  Keep a file with the fonts and hex#’s of the colors you’re going to use as a fast reference.  You can thank me later for this one – it’ll save a TON of time.
  • Create a sitemap – this is so the search engines know your site exists and they will crawl it.  If you have the Yoast plugin, it’s really simple to do it through there.
  • Install Google Analytics – go here to get started; it’s free, and absolutely necessary to track data about your website such as:
      • number of visitors to your site
      • popular pages/posts
      • whether visitors are viewing your site on desktop, mobile, phone
      • what country visitors are coming from
      • page errors
      • and loads more
  • Configure your site title and description under Settings/General.  You can also customize it through the Yoast plugin.  It’s important to choose a short, descriptive tagline that best outlines your blog.  This will help SEO and allow visitors to find you easier.
  • Now is also the time to set up your social media accounts that link your business together.  It’s super useful to have your social media accounts set up with the same name and colors as your blog – just part of your overall consistent branding.  You can do this as well through Yoast and your social share plugin that you installed earlier.
  • Set up your favicon – a.k.a. small logo.  This can be an image or even just your blog initials.  It’s what shows up in the browser tab when you’re on a site.  It’s a small (32×32) image that you upload through FTP to your site.

This is the time to decide on what autoresponder to use.  This service will collect your emails through your opt-in forms that are on your site.  While there are some free ones to use such as MailChimp, they often have serious shortcomings if you really want to grow your business.  Not all email providers are created equal!

My favorite when starting out is Aweber.  They have been around for years with a good track record, cost $19/month, and offer a lot of opt-in templates to get you started.  They also have a free trial for the first month.

Now for a few basic pages:

  • About page – spend some time on this one; it’s one of the most looked at pages.  Visitors want to know who you are.
  • Contact page – a basic page for people to send you a message.  You can set it up through the Ninja Forms plugin and add the code.
  • Disclaimer, disclosure, terms of use, privacy policy pages – absolutely necessary so your visitors know what you do with their information and how you use it. It’s the law.

START YOUR ENGINES AND POST!

Finally, right?  Congratulations, you made it to the starting line.  Now is the time to:

  • brainstorm blog topics
  • create an editorial calendar with your topics
  • start creating some good freebies so you can start growing your email list.  Keep it simple!  Checklists, quick reports, nothing fancy yet.
  • set up Aweber and up an opt-in on your blog to collect emails.
  • check out some affiliate sites in your niche so you can link to them in your posts and start to earn commissions.
  • START BLOGGING CONSISTENTLY.

WHEW!  That really was a lot of work and for those of you that completed the whole list – good for you. You now know how to create a blog from scratch.

I’d love to hear your comments or questions.

If you know someone who is starting out, feel free to share this post with them.

 

beginning bloggers checklistDOWNLOAD A FREE STEP BY STEP CHECKLIST TO CREATE YOUR BLOG FAST

Want your website up fast, but not sure how? Step by step instructions from domain name to publish. Beginner bloggers - DiyBizChicks.

Blog Content Ideas To Use Now

blog content

blog contentI just read a great blog post by my friend, Nicole Dean, where she shares lots of blog content ideas for June.  Well, they really don’t have to be for June only, but if you’re a little stuck on what to blog about next, she’s got you covered.

Here’s the short version of her list:

  • halfway point of the year
  • end of school year
  • graduation
  • summer
  • fitness
  • people move more during summer
  • national holidays
  • veggie burger day
  • national gardening day
  • national smile power day
  • father’s day
  • national hydration day

Then she’s got lists of:

  • where to publish the posts
  • how and where to publish slide deck presentations
  • how and where to publish reports and ebooks
  • how and where to publish affirmations and reflections
  • where to get images

Whew!  You really should check out her post here at NicoleontheNet if you’re at all stuck, or wondering what to post during June.  I’m sure it’ll give you enough inspiration to carry you through the entire summer.

blog content

 

 

10 Best Free Photo Editors

By Bo Johnson / April 17, 2018
10-best-photo-editors

10-best-photo-editors

We’re always looking for new photo editors – for social media images, to blog posts, you name it.  From resizing, adding text, changing color, to just tweaking that image a little bit.  If you’re not doing graphics every day, you might not need Photoshop; I don’t.

There’s a great article over at Zapier that looks at 10 of the best free photo editors that compare to Photoshop; and all have a free version.

I have tried a couple of these, namely, Pixlr and BeFunky, but the rest I’m looking forward to playing around with.  Some others I’ve tried are:  Canva, Stencil, Moonpixlar, and my go-to – paint.net (totally free!).

I couldn’t resist sharing the short version of that list.

10 Great Free Photo Editors:

  1. Pixlr
  2. Photopea
  3. Polarr
  4. Sumopaint
  5. BeFunky
  6. Fotor
  7. iPiccy
  8. Ribbet
  9. Photojet
  10. Lunapic

Zapier has a good chart that compares all the photo editors best features and platform.  Hey, go check out the whole post at Zapier.

Which photo editor is your favorite?

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